Research of the Health and Society Group

Our research group uses a holistic view to health, considering physical, social, mental and spiritual well-being. Health is created in everyday-life and arises from interaction between individual lifestyle, the social and physical environment.
On the right side of this page, you can take a look at ongoing research projects of the Health and Society group.

The Health and Society research program is built around the following areas:

  • The social environment of health, covering (1) social relationships, such as households, family, friends, (2) social surroundings, such as neighbourhoods, schools, workplaces, and (3) social institutions, such as cultural and religious institutions, economic and political systems.
    See e.g. Care-Physical Activity Initiatives in the Neighbourhood
  • The physical environment of health, that is, the built and natural environment, covering the accessibility, availability, affordability, design features and quality of for example housing, neighboorhoods, playgrounds, schools, workplaces, sidewalks and landscapes.
    See e.g. PARTIGAN: Participatory Greening of Arnhem and Nijmegen
  • Lifestyle, which is not merely an individual choice, but results from the interaction between people and their social and physical environment. Perceived expectations, vicarious learning, norms and values partially guide individual choices. Health practices however do not occur in isolation, but are shaped in the context of everyday life, amidst of other practices, and across time and place in which these practices are carried out. The construction of the social, built and natural environment facilitate or inhibit the choices that are made.
    See e.g. SU-EATABLE LIFE - Reducing carbon emissions in the EU through sustainable diets

The themes we study concern eating practices, physical activity, workplace health, green environment and health, landscape, urban planning and health, and the ageing society. Our research involves a disciplinary, sociological and social psychological perspective as well as an applied, multi-disciplinary perspective, using insights from systems thinking and organizational development theory. Within our group, we apply a combination of research techniques. This mixed methodology concerns both the combination of qualitative and quantitative research methods as well as traditional and action research.

Health and Society is part of The Centre for Space, Place and Society.
The Centre for Space, Place and Society (CSPS) brings together researchers from four chair groups within Wageningen University & Research (WUR) - Cultural Geography (GEO), Health and Society (HSO), Rural Sociology (RSO) and Sociology of Development and Change (SDC) - and beyond to advance critical-constructive scholarship within the social sciences.

Completed projects